The Royal Society Michael Faraday award is the UK’s most prestigious science communication award.
Tomorrow, the 2010 winner Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, will give her prize-lecture entitled “The end of the world in 2012? Science communication and scare stories”.
The lecture starts at 17:30 UK time and can be watched live online via the Royal Society website.
21st December 2012 marks the end of the Mayan calendar and some people believe it also means the end of the world.
Professor Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist , will talk about the significance of this date from an astronomical point of view. The Earth’s axis wobbles and its alignments with the stars change slightly every year. Once every 25,800 years, the sun lines up with the centre of the Milky Way galaxy on a winter solstice. This will happen on Dec. 21, 2012. The sun will appear to rise in the same spot where the bright centre of galaxy sets.
Did the Mayan’s know this, and if so how? I tried to find out but a quick google search of “End of the world 2012” threw up a lot of wacky sites (try it!) so I think I will wait to hear what Professor Bell Burnell has to say tomorrow….